dec. 26—HAMILTON — Keith Jones and Antoinette Webster have been dedicated to coordinating the Music Café series at Miami Regionals Downtown Hamilton Center for years. Jones has only missed one show in 23 years, because he was traveling out of town for work.
“I officially joined the Music Café on the second show. I’ve attended every show except for one,” said Keith Jones, who organizes the monthly music series with his wife, Antoinette Webster.
Jones attended the first show as a spectator. Since then, he has maintained the website for Music Café, books the musical acts and runs the sound at each concert. He has also performed more than a half a dozen times.
Webster has been actively involved since about 2015. She serves as the emcee at each show and makes sure the space is set up for the musicians and patrons. Several other individuals have also volunteered over the years.
Miami Regionals Downtown Hamilton Center will present the Music Café Finale on Tuesday — after 23 years, the Music Café series will end.
“It’s been an incredible experience,” said Jones. “I’ve met some absolutely wonderful people in conjunction with this venture that we’ve gone on.”
Music Café, held on the fourth Tuesday of each month, was created as a performance opportunity for musicians of all experience levels. Musicians have typically signed up in advance to participate.
The line-up for the December show includes Steve Adkisson at 7 pm, Ed Stapleton at 7:40 pm and Dan Erdman at 8:20 pm
In the 23 years since Music Café started, there have been about 269 shows with more than 525 performers. A belly dance troupe, Circle of Rhiannon, Tribal Belly Dance Troupe, was the highest attended show in the series. The Music Café started at the Fitton Center in 1999 and moved to Miami Regionals Downtown Hamilton Center in 2017.
Local, regional and national acts have been featured on the series.
“Looking at it, it’s one of those things where you ask is this something that is to be continued or something that’s to be released? So, this is a good time for us to say farewell,” Webster said. “It has been something that has been fun, and it’s a labor of love. And the performers have been just fabulous. They show up and give it their all.”
When we started Music Café, there weren’t as many venues and places for people to go for live music, and it’s been 23 years, she said. COVID-19 also caused the series to shut down for a while.
“People who have attended Music Café have really liked the shows. I’m also very proud of the fact that the performers who have played at Music Café have really enjoyed performing there. So, it’s a win-win situation,” Jones said.
How to go
What: Music Café Finale
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27
Where: Miami Regionals Downtown Hamilton Center, 221 High St., Hamilton
More info: www.musiccafe.ws or email [email protected].